A Stand of Trees

Above Coelbren in the hills,
There is an ancient Roman road.
One bright November afternoon,
I sought that road.
Along unmarked footpaths,
Through the creviced hills
Of river valleys,
I roamed in hope
To set my feet upon the stones
Of that old way.

Then, discovering an unpaved track,
I followed its sloping downward path
Toward another valley.
Past inclined meadows
Rich green, and reeded,
Mossy with the rain,
Across sounding rivulets
Spattering in their flow,
Down into sunshine.

Turning a right-hand bend,
A wonder stopped me.
There, across a river,
A grand hill sloped wide
Across my vision.
And on its rise,
In clear fresh sunlight,
A stand of trees.

Quietly I adored them.
The birches,
Like a dappled nearby edge
To this great wood,
Are leafless now,
Making a billowing misty purple
Against the dark green power
Of the many pines.

Playing other notes of colour,
Swelling and falling
On the soft curves of that hill,
The oaks, still holding leaves,
Play yellow and amber music
With the sun.
But here and there,
Peeping through,
Hazels shine spring green.

The voiceless voices
Of their great limbs;
The artless art,
Of their rich colour;
The river sounds,
The framing meadows,
All gave to me,
The stand of trees.

Copyright ©2001 Tony Crisp

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved